The added rest of an open date helped a couple of Southern players get healthy.

Coach Dawson Odums said Monday that he expects cornerbacks Jamar Mitchell (hamstring) and Ki-Jana Curtis (shoulder) to be available for the game at Alabama State on Saturday.

Mitchell has not played this season and Curtis started in Mitchell’s place in the season opener at Louisiana Tech, but has been sidelined since being injured in that game.

Odums said freshman Demerio Houston, who has started the last three games, will continue to start.

“He continues to get better,” Odums said during the weekly Southwestern Athletic Conference coaches teleconference. “He makes some mistakes and teams get some plays on him, but as a defensive back you have to learn to just play the next play and continue to compete and he has done that.”

Lso on the call, Alabama State coach Brian Jenkins said he would be talking with his university president about the school making a donation to the Devon Gales Fund.

Southern established the fund last week to raise money to help the Gales family with expenses related to Devon’s treatment. He suffered a severe spinal injury in a 48-6 loss at Georgia on Sept. 26 and has since undergone surgery and begun a lengthy rehabilitation process at an Atlanta hospital.

The Jaguars will face two reigning SWAC Players of the Week on Saturday.

Alabama State quarterback Ellis Richardson was named Offensive Player of the Week and running back Alex Anderson was named Newcomer of the Week for their performances in a 41-23 win at Texas Southern on Oct. 1.

Richardson, a redshirt sophomore, accounted for 297 total yards of offense (162 pass, 135 rush) and had a hand in four touchdowns. Richardson threw for three scores and rushed for another. In the Hornets’ two-game win streak he has had a hand in nine touchdowns.

Anderson, a 6-foot, 200-pound freshman, was a considerable part of the Hornets’ run game against Texas Southern, gaining 134 of the team’s 374 yards on the ground – in just 14 carries.

The other two awards also went to teammates as Alcorn State junior linebacker Darien Anderson was named Defensive Player of the Week and Braves junior kicker/punter Haiden McCraney was named Specialist of the Week.

Anderson had a game-high 11 total tackles in Alcorn State’s 61-14 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss for the Braves.

McCraney averaged 44.5 yards on four punts and pinned the Golden Lions’ offense inside its own 20-yard line on three of his attempts. He also converted seven point-after attempts.

Tickets are on sale for the SWAC Football Championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Dec. 5. Kickoff is 3 p.m.

Tickets start at $17 and are available online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. A limited number of seats at the $32 value will be made available for $27 to groups of 10 or more who purchase by phone at 844-573-0849

The annual SWAC Battle of the Bands featuring performances from the respective division winners culminates with Judgment Day Saturday at halftime.

Immediately following the championship game, fans will be treated to a postgame concert starring R. Kelly. Admission to see the concert is included with the purchase of a game ticket. Additional information may be found on the football championship’s official website at www.swacfootball.org.

The winner of the game will earn the conference title and a chance to play the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion in the inaugural Celebration Bowl on Dec. 19 in Atlanta.